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Our mantra is ‘Impact. Not noise.’ We take a client’s commercial objectives and ensure the PR strategy and tactics respond directly to those. Taking time at the outset of any campaign to establish those foundations ensures the best process for measuring pr success, delivering maximum impact and return on investment.

The importance of PR measurement

Objectives of a PR campaign can be many and varied – to sell products or services, engage audiences, to position, influence or persuade, to inform, protect reputation or to counter or mitigate damage.

Once a strategy to achieve the PR KPIs is in place, the tactics kick in. These can be as varied as the objectives but include any communication with target audiences – that includes media relations, website, blogs, social media, e-marketing, thought leadership, exhibitions and networking and a host of others. The important question we always ask is ‘Why? – what impact has this activity had, and how do we know? That’s why every PR campaign has purpose at its heart, and needs to be evaluated against agreed PR KPIs.

The Polymedia approach to PR measurement

Because each PR campaign is bespoke, with its own objectives, strategy and tactics, they all demand a different suite of PR evaluation tools.

As we prepare to launch into a campaign, we go through a three-step process. This process informs monthly, quarterly and annual reporting, and influences strategy in the future.

  1. Set clear PR objectives

To measure PR success, you need to set clear, measurable objectives at the outset. These could range from increasing brand awareness and improving public perception to driving specific actions such as website visits or sales.

  1. Determine key PR performance indicators (KPIs)

We identify the PR KPIs that will indicate the success of the campaign – media impressions, social media engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments), website traffic, relevance of traffic and dwell time backlinks generated, or direct sales figures. Some outcomes are less tangible – for example a rise in positive public perception. Others are easy to track – online sales, or a contract win with a target customer.

  1. Assess the results of evaluation using a range of evaluation tools

Measuring PR success: media coverage analysis

If your PR campaign includes media relations, remember there are two aspects to measuring PR – quantity and quality.

Quantity: Count the number of media mentions and articles and balance against your PR KPIs. Higher numbers may indicate broad reach, but messaging is just as important. Using measurement software we can track reach of the media outlets that covered your story – and the rank of the publications. The tools we use don’t just measure overall audience – they calculate the specific number of “eyes on” each specific piece.

Quality: We can assess the tone (positive, neutral, negative) and how well the key messages were incorporated. Likewise, we can analyse the prominence of the coverage and whether it appeared in the most highly targeted, prized or influential publications. Some clients value coverage in some outlets more than others, and of course a negative article doesn’t count as a win! So there’s nuance – it’s much more than a numbers game.

We use CoverageBook reporting for media evaluation – both quantity and quality. It automates media clippings, gathers online articles, social media posts, and broadcast clips and then analyses them to provide key metrics such as estimated coverage views, social shares, and the online readership of the outlets that covered your story. This is essential data for understanding PR reach and for making data-driven decisions about future campaigns. It makes measuring PR success and analysing data simple and fast, ensuring more time is spent delivering results than on administration.

Google Alerts can also be used to measure PR success, tracking mentions in news articles and press releases and providing data insight into evaluation of the success of a PR campaign.

Measuring PR success: digital metrics

For online campaigns, analytics tools can track:

    • Social media engagement rates, including shares, comments, and likes.
    • Website traffic originating from PR efforts, monitoring both overall visits and behaviour metrics such as bounce rate and session duration.
    • Conversion rates, if the campaign aimed to drive specific online actions.


Mention delivers comprehensive real-time insights and reporting into your brand’s online presence including social media, news sites, blogs and forums. It allows us to gauge public sentiment and respond promptly to any emerging discussions or crises related to your brand. It also provides the opportunity to monitor your competitor’s activity, providing context for evaluation.

Social listening platforms

Tools like social listening platforms monitor social media sentiment automating the process of giving insights into measuring PR success and the public perception and emotional impact of your campaign.

Sentiment analysis

Mention’s sentiment analysis feature sifts through mentions to determine whether they are positive, neutral or negative and then offers visuals and analytics on online mentions, including volume, sentiment analysis, source, and reach.

Google alerts

Google alerts monitor the web for new content about specific topics, a company name, products, or key people, ensuring you can see how often and in what context a brand is mentioned online.

Social media

Social media easily provides clear data for PR evaluation with metrics easily available for likes, comments and shares. Mentions on LinkedIn, X or Instagram will help you gauge awareness around your brand. The more people talk about and share your news, the more likely you are to reach additional members of your target audience.


Backlinks come into play when someone publishes your content, a press release or article on their website and includes a link within it to your URL for readers to learn more. Identifying where these are is an important statistic to include in PR KPIs reporting. Handle with care though – not all backlinks are good. Recent updates to the Google algorithm are designed to stop “spammy” links that have obviously been placed for SEO purposes. This means it is more important than ever to generate genuine, quality links that are on appropriate, relevant sites and provide value to a human reader – not just to search engine bots.

Domain authorities

Not all websites are equal, and measuring PR is not about quantity over quality. Some sites – think BBC, The Times, MSN, Yahoo! News – are well known, well respected and therefore more valuable than others. The metric to track this is known as domain authority, and sophisticated tracking tools measure not just the number of hits, but also the rank of the sites that have used a piece.

It’s not just about metrics though – context is important. For example, for a supplier of a niche electrical product, gaining coverage to the tightly targeted audience of an electrical trade publication might be far more helpful than a mention on Sky News!

Survey feedback

Surveys among target audiences can directly measure changes in awareness, perception, or behaviour resulting from the PR campaign, providing concrete data on a campaign’s influence. In reality, the costs of these can be prohibitive for the less ambitious campaign but they are powerful measurement tools when budget allows and ambition dictates.

Competitor comparisons

Measuring PR and comparing your campaign against competitors can contextualise your performance within the industry and identify areas for improvement.

Sales and enquiries

It may sound simple, but when you get enquiries from potential clients or anyone for that matter, it’s always worth asking people how they heard about you. This can help build a picture of where they are getting their information from – they may say LinkedIn, or another website. This will help you to find out what works well for your business and the platforms you should be utilising to get the word out about your brand.

Return on investment

Where possible we measure PR success by calculating the ROI of a campaign, reference it against KPIs and compare against costs.

PR services that deliver quantifiable results

By systematically analysing these aspects, organisations can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of PR initiatives, informing future strategies and decisions and determining ROI. The key to meaningful PR evaluation lies in continuous monitoring, analysis, and adaptation based on data-driven insights.


Unfortunately some things will always be difficult to measure. Things like building good journalist relationships or stopping bad press cannot be measured in numbers. These certainly have value and a huge amount of impact in the long run. It’s best to use tools available to you to constantly evaluate whether your PR efforts are aligning with your goals. This is what you should be looking for from your Public Relations metrics.